Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

I have written a couple of blog posts 12 and have done podcasts 12 about my experiences when I was a bartender and a janitor at a local bar in the city I lived in.

Let me share another true story with you. If you have not read my other posts, the bar I worked at was a rough blue-collar bar that was crowded with factory workers from a number of different local factories that were operating at that time. The bar was located in a higher crime area of the city I lived in.

I would start my janitorial job at the bar at 4:30 am each morning, seven days a week. I worked from 4:30 am until about 7:30 am.  I had to finish my janitorial work by 7:30 am because the bar opened again at 8:00 am and the parking lot was always full with thirsty factory workers on the way home after leaving their third shift jobs.

The bar had a security system that needed to be deactivated before I could enter the building to do my janitorial work. I had to unlock an outer door with a key and type in a security code within 30 seconds on a keypad next to the inner door. If I did not type in the security code within 30 seconds, an alarm signal was generated and the local police were automatically dispatched.

I had typed in the same security code daily for seven days a week for almost a year, without any issues until one morning when I just couldn’t. I was totally out of sync.

That morning I unlocked the outer door with my key and shut it. I then tried to enter the six digit security code on the keypad. I entered the digits and hit enter and the keypad display indicated in bright red letters, ENTRY ERROR. I tried to enter the security code again and failed. I failed four more times and my 30 seconds expired.

At that point, an audio alarm sounded and I knew the local police would be automatically dispatched.

Since the bar was in a higher crime area and I did not want to take a chance of being shot by the local police, I went back through the outer door and took out my driver’s license and sat on the front steps of the bar.

As I sat on the front steps, I could hear multiple sirens in the distance. Three police cars rolled into the parking lot a few minutes later. As they entered the parking lot, I stood up with my hands in the air. I was doing everything I could to make sure I was not showing any hostility at all towards the police officers who had to assume I was a criminal and set off the alarm trying to break into the bar. The police officers all jumped out of their cars with their guns drawn.

The police held me at gunpoint until I could explain the situation to them and they could verify my identity with my boss, who owned the bar.

 So why was I not able to successfully type in the security code that morning?  I was totally out of sync in my own life that morning.

What does it mean to be “out of sync?” When you are out of sync, everything feels frustrating and hard. You feel, stress, anxiety, fear, and other negative emotions. You feel stuck, indecisive and cannot concentrate. You feel out of balance and there is disharmony in your life. You cannot remember certain things and cannot “unlock” your current engrained patterns to do something different and more positive.

I was out of sync that morning because I was stuck in a set of repetitive negative patterns with associated negative emotions.  See my blog post entitled, Time to Stop Making the Doughnuts, for more details on my repetitive negative patterns that day that got me out of sync.

You may feeling out of sync yourself due to your own personal challenges, the current state the world, the uncertainty caused by the Covid19 virus and for many, many other reasons.

Being out of sync affects your body, your thoughts, your feelings, and your behavior and can cause physical and emotional health problems.

So how do you get yourself back in sync if you are out of sync?  Consider these three steps.

  1. Examine and Change Your Thoughts.  If you are out of sync, examine your thoughts. You may be stuck in a negative thought cycle that is based on negative emotions such as apathy, despair, discouragement, disappointment, fear etc.  Pay close attention to your thoughts.  Instead of acting on and repeating any negative thoughts, reframe negative thoughts into positive and productive thought patterns instead based on positive emotions such as courage, hope, joy, happiness, interest, etc.  Take positive steps and actions based on these reframed, positive thought patterns.
  2. Examine and Change the Velocity of Your Daily Life.  If you are out of sync, examine and change the velocity of your life. The velocity and pace of your life typically is so fast and you do so many thing on a daily basis based on automatic responses to real and imaginary internal and external pressures.  The velocity of your life forces you to live and make decisions reactively, rather than proactively. To change the velocity of your life, it is important for you to slow down and unplug for a few minutes each day, preferably once each hour of the day. To unplug, turn the ringer of your phone off, turn it over, step away from all your electronic screens and close your eyes and breathe deeply and slowly for a few minutes.  Unplugging will help you become calm and centered and be back in sync with your body and mind. You can also unplug by taking a walk, doing yoga, meditating, interacting with a pet, etc. and with many other techniques.
  3. Examine and Change your Emotional Triggers.  If you are out of sync, examine and change your emotional triggers.  Emotional triggers initiate an automatic personal response in you. Emotional triggers include thoughts, feelings, events, people, opinions, or environmental situations such as sights, smells, tastes and sounds that provoke an intense and excessive emotional reaction within you causing you to be out of sync. If you can understand your own emotional triggers and identify when they occur (e.g., I do not have enough money to pay my bills, etc.), you give yourself the opportunity to react in a new and different way than you may have done in the past. New reactions to your emotional triggers allow you to get back in sync in your own life.

Recognizing when you are out of sync and getting yourself back in sync allows you to make a positive impact in your own life.

Out There on the Edge of Everything®…

Stephen Lesavich, PhD

Copyright © 2020, by Stephen Lesavich, PhD.  All rights reserved.

Certified solution-focused life coach and experienced business coach.

If you would like to receive personal coaching by Dr. Lesavich, please visit his life coaching web-site for additional information.

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